Mike Rowe Reveals How A Phone Call About Grandfather Inspired Hit Show In Clip With Tucker Carlson

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Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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“Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe revealed how a comment from his grandfather inspired the hit show during his appearance on “Tucker Carlson Today.”

“He was one of those geniuses who could take your watch apart blindfolded and put it back together, fix anything, build anything,” Rowe shared during his appearance on the Fox Nation show Monday, according to Fox News.

“He was a magician, and I kind of grew up in his shadow with my mom and dad,” he added, as he explained how his grandfather was one of those men who was good with his hands and could fix anything as a “master electrician.” (RELATED: Mike Rowe Says ’40 Million People In This Country’ Have Been Labeled ‘Non-Essential’ And That’s ‘Fundamentally Upside-Down’)


The host talked about how he had hoped he would get his grandfather’s gift but didn’t. (RELATED: Mike Rowe Sends Blistering Message To Colleges Refusing To Fly American Flag)

“The handy gene, as you may have noticed, is recessive,” the reality TV host explained. “And as certain as I was that I would follow in his footsteps, I just didn’t get the skills. So I got into entertainment.”

It was during his stint with the CBS “Evening News” that his reality TV show about the forgotten blue collar worker would become a reality.

“I’m in my cubicle, and my mother calls me, and she says, ‘Michael, your grandfather is 90 years old’ … and she said ‘he’s not going to live forever,'” Rowe shared. “‘Wouldn’t it be great if before he died, he could turn the TV on and see you doing something that looks like work?'”

Rowe admitted at first his mother’s words were “devastating.” However, the next day he, his cameramen and a producer headed into the San Francisco sewers where he did a story about an inspector because he thought his grandpa would get a “kick out of” seeing him “host a show from a sewer because he’d been in a few and why not?”

Mike said the reaction he got from people told him he was on to something. He said he got hundreds of letters from people who told him that he should see what their family members, friends, and others did for a living.

And it was that moment that would eventually lead him to host the hugely successful hit reality show “Dirty Jobs.”

“I knew that what we had just done was not being done on TV,” Mike said. “And that there was a massive underserved audience, and that there was maybe a chance to take reality TV and let it live up to its name.”